State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600641
Some herbs are best frozen while still on the stalk.
Dillweed, in particular, is easiest to handle if you gather
a whole bunch and freeze it in a freezer bag or container.
When it's frozen, snip off bits as if it were fresh. If you
freeze sage, rosemary and thyme on the stalk, they are much
easier to toss in the cooking pot and retrieve later.
Another alternative is to snip the leaves from the
stems, rinse and dry them thoroughly. Lay leaves out on a
cookie sheet and leave overnight in the freezer to freeze
individually so they will not stick together when collected
in one container. Pack leaves tightly into a freezer bag
or container. Use leaves straight from the freezer.
If leaves are not frozen on trays, the leaves will
stick together, but can easily be broken off in portions.
Don't bother chopping herbs before freezing them, they are
easy to chop when frozen.
If you would rather do more work on freezing day,
dicing the herbs well before you freeze them gives you added
convenience at cooking time. Pack into small containers or
freezer bags. Diced herbs can also be frozen in ice cube
trays with a little water or stock to cover. Use herbs
frozen in ice cube trays in soups and stews.
Herbs may also be incorporated in ready-to-use
mixtures, bouquets garni, and then frozen.
There are plenty of variations in what constitutes a
bouquet garni. The most popular combination is a bouquet
composed of three or four sprigs of parsley, two sprigs of
thyme and half a bay leaf, tied together with kitchen
twine. The bouquets, packed into freezer bags, can be used
one at a time, or dropped into sauce, stock or soup
duringthe last minutes of cooking.
The same can be done with chopped or dried herbs.
Collect them in a 4-inch square of cheesecloth and tie
tightly with kitchen twine. To make enough herb mix to
fill a dozen bags, combine 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley,
2 tablespoons of chopped thyme and 4 crumbled bay leaves.
Add a few tablespoons of chopped celery leaves or a little
marjoram, if desired. Freeze bouquets and use straight from
the freezer. These infusions make good food better.
Herb blends that are added to dishes a pinch at a time
can also be frozen. These blends are called fine herbs.
The traditional mix is equal portions of parsley, chives,
and chervil, and half as much tarragon. Since all these
herbs freeze better than they dry, make up small batches,
wash well, dry, chop and freeze.
Freeze any of the following blends. For fish, mix
equal quantities of thyme, basil, sage, sweet marjoram and
crushed fennel seeds. For poultry, game and meat, try
equal quantities of sweet or French marjoram, basil, thyme,
and lemon thyme. For vegetables, mix sweet marjoram, basil,
chervil and summer savory. For cheese , egg or potato
dishes, soups and sauces; mix parsley, chives, chervil and
Herbs can be frozen in oil or butter. Unless blanched
basil loses its color in the freezer to a greater extent
than most herbs, so try freezing basil in oil. Also try
adding 1/4 cup of oil to a cup of packed leaves of basil, or
rosemary, sage, tarragon or thyme. Spoon the mixtures into
ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer them to freezer bags.
Remember, when you add them to marinades and salad
dressings, they are highly concentrated.